Despite COVID-19, Samherji's land-based Arctic char construction plans in Grindavik are still underway, and the company is now planning for the next phase of expansion.

The company successfully drilled three new sea holes at the site despite COVID-19 disruptions. Construction work is expected to finish in June, after which the company will be able to produce almost 4,000 metric tons of Arctic char, Samherji Fishfarming operations Director Hjalti Bogason said.

At the end of last year, the Icelandic Food Agency granted whitefish giant Samherji an increase on its operating permit for its land-based aquaculture operation in Grindavik, from the current 1,600 metric tons to 3,000 metric tons of salmon and char.

Currently, the group's aquaculture subsidiary, Samherji Fiskeldi, holds the licenses to produce 6,500 metric tons of salmon (or char) annually, in three land-based farms and two smolt sites. Last year, the company harvested 4,800 metric tons of salmon and char combined.

Samherji aims to grow these licenses up to 20,000 metric tons in the next 10 years.

At present, the land-based sector in Iceland is relatively small, with Samherji Fiskeldi the largest producer.